A. Barton Hinkle's Modest Proposal: Ban All Sports!


Isn't it about time America banned soccer? Not because of British hooligans or the vuvuzela that has now made it into your local dollar store, although Heaven knows soccer has plenty to answer for on both those scores. No, the question at hand is whether soccer should be banned because of the other costs it imposes on society. This comes up thanks to a little story from a few weeks back about a new study finding that "heading" a soccer ball can lead to traumatic brain injury. The damage is not so severe that players will need to be institutionalized. At worst, some of them will end up talking like George W. Bush. This is still not something to be wished on anyone. Perhaps we don't need to ban soccer outright, suggests A. Barton Hinkle. Perhaps we should only require players to wear helmets. But what about sports in general? In the aggregate, they cost society a tremendous lot of money.